“Not everything is trash…only if you make it trash,” says Doesha-Monay Wright, a recent graduate of Silver Creek High School. And she should know, as she has created and is CEO of a business that makes decorated phone-cases out of other people’s “trash”, such as recycled or donated items like broken earrings, necklaces and other materials.
As a senior this past year Doesha participated in Silver Creek High School’s (SCHS) Business program, which is a participant each year in a national program called Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). The NFTE program works to inspire young people to develop and practice entrepreneurship and communications skills.
Each year, thousands of high-school business classes around the country select classroom winners to represent them at local NFTE competitions. Those winners compete in semi-finals, with a few moving forward to regional-level competition. As a senior, Doesha won her Marketing class’s competition, then the semi-finals, and recently won First Place in the NFTE Bay Area competition, held on June 5th in Mt. View. She was one of 4 finalists who presented their plans to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists at a gala event celebrating 20 years of the NFTE program. As First Place winner of the Bay Area competition, Doesha now moves on to the National competition on October 9th.
Students participating in the NFTE Business Plan competition have to create a product, develop a bullet-proof business plan, and then pitch their business to a panel of successful, real-life entrepreneurs. As winner of this year’s competition, Doesha received $1500, will move on to the National Competition, and became yet another Silver Creek NFTE “star”. The SCHS Business program has sent 7 students to the National Competition in the past 10 years! One of the program’s students even ended up meeting with President Obama in the White House! Considering over 20,000 students throughout the US typically participate in the event (with only about 32 advancing to the National event each year), this is truly remarkable.
Says Doesha of her company, “Dazzle Me, Inspire You”, “My business consists of affordable, one-of-a-kind phone-cases that are made with either recycled or donated items like broken jewelry. I thought of this idea because I saw so many malls and boutiques where they sell 3D phone-cases, but they cost 80-100 dollars. I decided to make my own and started off with a clear case, nail glue and my broken jewelry. Now I have sold 200 plus phone-cases, just in the last 2 years. Some of the feedback is that people say it's so original and creative; or why didn’t I think of that. You can find me on Instagram @phonecasebydoesha.”
Doesha’s SCHS teacher, Ka-Ling Scoppettone, is very proud of Doesha’s accomplishments, saying, “Doesha had the unique combination of a viable business plan, a savvy product made from recycled jewelry, and an amazing ability to connect with people; she has worked very hard to get to the National competition.”
Participation in the NFTE program is just one of the many opportunities SCHS students are exposed to in its Business program.
Photos courtesy of Ka-Ling Scoppettone.